The 5 best-selling gaming consoles of all time and why they matter


Game consoles. These closed-box systems ushered in the modern era of gaming and they are still around today.

There is a rich history behind the most popular console brands of all time: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc. And you’re going to see a few in this list.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Here, you’ll learn about the five best-selling gaming consoles of all time and what made each system important in their time and eras that followed.

But before we continue, this list only includes mainstream video game consoles, so don’t expect the Nintendo Switch here.

PlayStation 2: King of the Best Sellers (155 million units)

When you say “best-selling game consoles of all time”, nothing else comes close to the iconic PlayStation 2.

During its lifetime, the PS2 sold a total of 155 million units, with the second (which you’ll know in a moment) still lagging 47 million, according to Digital Trends.

The PlayStation2 was so important because of the times it is in.

There are many reasons for this, but perhaps its most iconic quality was its technology. Its lifespan was right in the middle of the transition from VHS to HD DVD. And since dedicated DVD players at the time cost a fortune, the PS2’s built-in DVD player made it the cheapest DVD player at the time.

Ps2 game console

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to this functionality, the PS2 was also fully backward compatible with PS1 games, had many renowned exclusives and the best controller at the time: the DualShock 2, whose technology will continue to inspire future generations of PlayStation as they go. time. line.

PlayStation 4: A massive and much needed change (108 million units)

The PlayStation 4 was the start of a renaissance for Sony, due to the fiasco-filled lifespan of the previous generation PlayStation 3.

The company understood that it had to change so much with the next generation, and it was essentially the start of a new gaming empire.

First revealed in 2013, the PS4 was vastly different from the PS3. While the PS3 used a very exotic architecture that was difficult to develop for, the PS4 switched to a PC-based x86 architecture.

Ps4 game console

(Photo: Olly Curtis / Future via Getty Images)
A Sony PlayStation 4 video game console and a DualShock 4 wireless controller, taken on January 22, 2016.

It basically opened up a world of possibilities for developers. It was so much easier to make games for the PS4 due to its new, non-exotic architecture, which led to an extremely impressive lineup of exclusive games that the rival Xbox One could never face, even if Microsoft tried.

Read also: Why Refreshing PS5 Console And Xbox Series X Makes More Sense These Days Than Upgrading A Gaming PC

PlayStation 1: The Originator (102 million units)

Of course, the PS4 and PS2 will be nothing without the OG.

The importance of this gaming console can never be underestimated because Sony really didn’t want to do it.

Company executives at the time thought video games were too much of a niche market, even claiming that they were “not a toy company.”

Ps1 game console

(Photo: James Sheppard / Retro Gamer Magazine / Future via Getty Images)
A Sony PlayStation (model PS One) home video game console, taken on June 19, 2018.

They obviously always continued with their plans and fundamentally ushered in a new world of gaming.

As one of the world’s first disc gaming systems, the original PlayStation soared straight into gamers’ hands with a host of great games, such as “Metal Gear Solid”, “Resident Evil”, “Silent Hill,” and the legendary platform game “Crash Bandicoot”.

Nintendo Wii: a welcome outlier (101 million units)

Obviously, this is the first non-PlayStation gaming console on this list, and trust us, it wasn’t for nothing.

Released in the same generation as the PS3 and Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii was more of an outlier that didn’t really fit in, but still managed to pull it off.

Wii game console

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This is because Nintendo’s approach to gaming was vastly different. They mainly sold video games suitable for families, unlike those from Sony or Microsoft.

Do you remember Wii sport? It was good times.

In fact, Nintendo has harnessed its radically niche approach to gaming well enough to date, with its best-selling Switch handheld.

The Wii isn’t a PlayStation or Xbox, but it’s made a name for itself and that’s already an admirable feat.

PlayStation 3: The Comeback Kid (86 million units)

To say the PS3 got off to a bad start is an understatement.

It was essentially undermined by Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and was the laughing stock of the gaming community in the mid-2000s.

The console was plagued by issues, such as lackluster online functionality, barely good exclusives at launch, a high asking price, and muffled marketing.

It was also hated by developers because its exotic architecture, based on the infamous Cell processor, made it too difficult to create games.

But then, Sony did not flinch in the face of adversity. It continued with the PS3 with constant hardware and software updates, releasing some great exclusives, and ended up making one of the biggest comebacks of all time in gaming history.

Ps3 game console

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It would finally exceed 360 in terms of sales by 2013, after nearly seven years of delay.

By the end of its lifecycle, the PS3 had sold 86 million units and the 360 ​​at 85 million. It was one of the best redemption stories in video game history.

Related: The main designer of the PS5 uses this 7000MB / s SSD for his personal game console

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Written by RJ Pierce

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